When Richard Harrow from Boardwalk Empire moved in with us, things went pretty well for a while. But then Richard got kind of depressed.
We thought it would be a good idea to take his mind of things by giving him something to focus on, some additional responsibility. So we decided to make him our manny.
I have some questions for Terence Winter and the creative team of Boardwalk Empire after watching Sunday night’s season three premiere.
For a long time, I thought I had Boardwalk Empire pegged. I thought it was a good show that aspired to greatness but could never quite get there, due to genre constraints, lack of imagination, and the unique bondage of Steve Buscemi cast as a leading man. For most of its first season, and the first several episodes of its second, Empire inched along, hinting at grand confrontations and climaxes but constantly retreating from committing to those decisive moments. It felt like a series of false starts, of one exciting episode followed by two and a half slow-bordering-on-dull ones. It was always teasing and hinting; rarely satisfying.
I was wrong.
A full discussion of the series, including spoilers through the end of season two, after the jump.
When Richard Harrow from Boardwalk Empire moves in with us, there is an adjustment period. Our place is not large. Our one spare bedroom has been used as an office, so when Richard takes up residence there, we have to relocate our computer and some lesser items.
Television networks have always used Sunday nights for their “quality” programs – movies-of-the-week, mini-series, The Wonderful World of Disney, Hallmark specials, 60 Minutes, etc. So, it’s unsurprising that Sunday is the preferred night for cable channels to premiere their prestige shows.
The Sopranos, The Wire, Rome, Six Feet Under, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Lost, Dexter, Weeds, Party Down, etc…. many of the best shows of the past decade were aired (mostly on cable) on Sunday nights. And as more and more cable networks have followed HBO into original programming, Sunday has turned into a night rich with high quality shows.
Right now, the best Sunday night shows are AMC’s Mad Men and Breaking Bad (although I would argue that both, after four seasons, have passed their peak). Nipping at their heels is HBO’s Game of Thrones, which really is “a crossover hit. It’s not just for fantasy enthusiasts. They’re telling human stories in a fantasy world” (I Heart You, Adam Scott.)
Of course, none of those shows are on right now. Part of the fun of Sunday nights is that the cable shows follow a modified British schedule (12ish-and-done), so the lineup is forever changing. Right now, four fairly new shows represent their channels’ hopes for the future. Are any of them built to last?